Aug. 23, 2010
Block cheese prices stayed flat last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging just over $1.63 per pound all week long, up 1 cent from last week.
Cheese prices are up 18 percent compared with last year, when they averaged $1.38 per pound.
Skyrocketing prices from Russia’s threatened ban on grain exports have returned to more normal $6-plus levels, though they’re still trending higher than before the announcement.
Prices for wheat on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange closed at $7, a 15 cent drop from $7.15 the previous Friday, but still among the highest closings in the past two years.
Wheat prices closed at just under $6.83 on Monday, $6.78 on Tuesday, $6.84 per bushel Wednesday, and $7.07 per bushel Thursday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.71 per gallon Aug. 23, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, down 4 cents from the previous week’s average of 2.75. Prices are relatively flat from $2.72 per gallon a month ago and up 3 percent from an average of $2.63 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded currently averages $2.88 per gallon while premium unleaded as of Aug. 16 stood at $2.98 per gallon.
The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.97 per gallon Aug. 23, down 1 percent from the previous week. Diesel prices are up 10 percent from an average of $2.69 per gallon this time last year.
Natural gas spot prices decreased this report week, as temperatures moderated for much of the country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A robust supply level in the Rocky Mountains, in the face of dwindling storage opportunities, was a likely factor leading to steep price declines in many markets west of the Mississippi River. During the report week, the Henry Hub spot price decreased by $0.03 to $4.35 per million Btu (MMBtu).
Pizza company stocks
Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $42.32 on Aug. 20, up $1.47 compared with the previous week's close of $40.85. Yum! traded at a 52-week high of $44 in April 2010 and a 52-week low of $32.49 in October 2009.
Domino's closed at $13.08, down 9 cents compared with the previous Friday's close of $13.17. DPZ traded as high as $16.32 in April 2010 and as low as $7.09 in August 2009.
Papa John's stock closed at $23.97, up 28 cents compared with the previous Friday's close of $23.69. PZZA traded at a 52-week high of $28.84 in May 2010 and a 52-week low of $21.44 in December 2009.
Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $31.56, up 72 cents compared with the previous week's close of $30.84. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $41.79 in April 2010 and a 52-week low of $24.69 in October 2009.
California Pizza Kitchen’s stock suffered after a deal with American Securities fell through. It closed at $15.40 on Aug. 20, down 78 cents from the previous week's close of $16.18. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010 and as low as $12.29 in December 2009.
Pizza Inn closed at $2 on Aug. 20, up 1 cent from the previous week's close of $1.99. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010 and a 52-week low of $1.50 in December 2009.